HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Nomination Thread -- Cookbook of the Month February 2013

Hello and welcome to everyone!
As a group, we decide on a book to dip and delve into for a month. Anyone can participate, please see the archives and information here if you’d like to know more: http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_m...
Ahem. Note that this will be my 6th month as coordinator,
(a pleasant chore!) so please give some thought to being the one to step up come March. Thank you!

Now, though, we need suggestions for the short (& sweet) month of February. Suggestions must be ’specially heartfelt this month! The books can be short and sweet too -- or long and savory. To be counted, titles must be in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. We’ll discuss them here and the most-nominated books will move up to the voting thread.
The nomination thread will be open until 9 p.m. EST, Tuesday January 15, 2013.
From a box of chocolates or a shelf of cookbooks -- gotta choose one!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I'll give THAI FOOD by David Thompson another go!

    1. THAI FOOD
      by David Thompson

      by Copeland Mark
      or another book on Korean cooking
      by Dok Suni


      2 Replies
      1. re: jpr54_1

        Oh heck, I'll give it another go. THAI FOOD, David Thompson.

        1. re: jpr54_1

          jpr, can you tell us more about those particular Korean cookbooks? I would love to do a Korean month but haven't found a Korean cookbook I've fallen in love with. I don't have the two books you've mentioned, but would love to hear more about their tone, breadth, complexity, etc.


        2. I'm still hankering for the Asian food that was calling to me last month, so, any one of these....


          1 Reply
          1. re: MelMM

            Same here.


          2. A completely selfish nomination as I'm in pantry clean out mode before shifting country. I've got some korean ingredients to use up.

            1. THAI FOOD - David Thompson

              1. BURMA

                I agree...in the mood for Asian and something a bit lighter.

                  1. re: pavlova

                    I can't find the edit button, so I'll add a second nominee here: RICK BAYLESS'S MEXICAN KITCHEN

                    1. BURMA. I'll go with this because there's another thread out there about the tried and true from Thai Food.

                      2 Replies
                        1. re: qianning

                          I don't know how I didn't notice that. Thanks for pointing it out!

                      1. Woah! There are a whole lot of nominations for a cookbook from the Asian persuasion this time around. I hope that is politically correct to say - not sure how else to phrase it. I have The Vietnamese Kitchen and will say that the recipes are intriguing and very approachable. I don't have Burma or The Hakka Cookbook, and though both sound wonderful, all three are very new and I think this might result in a poor turnout (although this certainly didn't hold true for Jerusalem). David Thompson's books are far more readily available but I know concerns have been raised in the past over whether they his recipes are very approachable. I have checked out his books from the library in the past and loved what I made from them.

                        But personally, I was hoping for something far more stew friendly this month. It has been miserably cold, even here in sunny California, and I would love an excuse to make a homey, comforting braise.

                        I am going to throw two books out there that have come up several times before:

                        BISTRO COOKING AT HOME by Gordon Hamersley
                        BIG SMALL PLATES by Cindy Pawlcyn

                        Both titles are available used and both should be in most library systems. Bistro Cooking is out of print but quite a few of us have it on our shelves and it has EXCELLENT reviews.

                        Re Big Small Plates, I am in love with this book. Everything I have made out of it has been knock your socks off yummy and her instructions are precise and work (much like Nancy Silverton's style, if you are familiar). The rabbit tostadas are outstanding - probably my favorite recipe out of this book so far and by far my favorite tostada recipe from any source.

                        Re Bistro Cooking, the only recipe I have made so far is the Hamersley Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon and Parsley and my family gave me so many oohs and ahhs for this dish that I feel like I should make it every night! The approach and the recipes in this book remind me a lot of Sunday Suppers, which is one of my most used cookbooks. If you like the recipes in Sunday Suppers, you will probably be a fan of this book as well.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: dkennedy

                          I'll have to check out Big Small Plates. Mustards was one of my favorite places to eat. I liked the Fog City Diner, also. It occurred to me to nominate the Mustards Grill book, but I'm not sure that it's readily available. Maybe a Pawlcyn month one day?

                          1. re: L.Nightshade

                            I have never eaten at any of her restaurants, but I am so in love with the book. It is on my short list of places to go next time I am up north.

                            1. re: dkennedy

                              I have the book as well dk. We didn't have a chance to dine at Mustards but we did have a chance to sample CP's cooking at a subsequent winery event and LOVED it. I understand she's since opened a wine focussed restaurant but haven't been there. I still haven't cooked from Big Small Plates - I'm guessing it may not be indexed in EYB. I really need more time at home than my career allows!!

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                It is indexed. Crack the spine, you won't be able to put it down!!!!

                                1. re: dkennedy

                                  Ooooh, ok now I'm excited. I wish they'd index Sondra Bernstein's books I'd be in Ca. wine country heaven!!

                                  I'll pull that book tomorrow and make it my CAWC book dk, thanks so much!!

                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                      Sorry LN, CAWC = Cookbook A Week Challenge

                                      ...a thread I set up in the hopes of pulling one book per week off my shelf, giving it a good look through, cooking from it if I can but if not, seeing whether there's something I'd be interested in making. Making a decision whether to keep or toss (donate) the book.

                                      Sadly my project was de-railed when CH made their "upgrades" and I was getting headaches after only 10 mins on the the site. Now I have no excuse though and I plan to get back at it this week!

                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                        Oh, great idea Breadcrumbs! Thanks for the translation.
                                        I find it so hard to keep up with COTM, DOTM, and my overwhelming work schedule. I know you work too, so I'm very impressed that you have set this goal for yourself!

                                    2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                      Uh-oh, I just looked up Sondra Bernstein. Do I need her books too?

                          2. I'm going to nominate BISTRO COOKING AT HOME - often nominated, even gone to the voting stage, and hasn't yet had its moment to shine.

                            This is a fabulous book. Well-written recipes for warm, comforting and truly delicious food.

                              1. Every time I see a nomination thread I'm struck with how quickly time passes.

                                I was looking at a few of my bookcases on the weekend in search of a book for my CAWC thread and unearthed a few books I was incredibly excited to add to my collection due to the buzz at the time but alas, they were placed on the shelf and never touched again. Some of them seemed as though they'd be COTM-worthy and I'll loop back when I'm home and toss out a few names to see what folks think. One book I do remember though is Mission Street Food. This book looks so interesting with so many enticing sounding/looking dishes. Does anyone have any experience w it?

                                In the meantime, I'll throw out a nomination for:

                                BISTRO COOKING AT HOME by Gordon Hamersley

                                of course reserving the right to add another after consulting w my Guinea-hounds!! (aka the official casa bc tasting crew!!)

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                  Does that include the golden retriever?

                                  1. re: greedygirl

                                    Of course gg!! He's especially fond of baking though so he usually gets over-ruled for the COTM noms!! ; - )

                                  2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                    BC, I own Mission Street Food but haven't cooked out of it yet. Really very few recipes, more of a reading book. I am pulling it out now....48 recipes listed on EYB, and some of them are for things like foam and mayonnaise so I don't think it would work as a COTM. Very interesting read though.

                                  3. I have no specific book in mind, but all of the "year end" & "favorites" lists and such that go around this time of year got me thinking about some authors I've never tried but want to. Also, the thing I really love, some regional foods that I'd like to explore this year. So just to throw some into the pot:

                                    Jane Grigson
                                    Terry Tan
                                    Colman Andrews
                                    Helen Kuo
                                    Florence Lin
                                    Jean Anderson

                                    regional cuisines:
                                    -Nonya food, or for that matter anything focused on Malaysia
                                    -Hungarian (ok, it is heavy, but February is a short month!)
                                    -Any "community" or geographically specific Indian cookbook (we always seem to do pan-Indian books)
                                    -Catalan (see Colman Andrews above....)
                                    -Anything Latin American, but especially something focused on the northern half of South America; Ecuadorian, Colombian, Venezuelan & etc.
                                    -Asian street food.

                                    10 Replies
                                    1. re: qianning

                                      I would love to do a Malaysian COTM, if anyone can suggest some likely candidates. I have a book that has a lot of Malaysian-style recipes but it's not specifically Malaysian. (Two Asian Kitchens by Adam Liaw)

                                      1. re: geekmom

                                        geekmom, did you know that there was a Malaysian/Indonesian & area cotm a few years back? Cradle of Flavor by James Oseland....A lovely book; you should check it out!


                                        1. re: Allegra_K

                                          Ooh, nifty. I will check the link. Thank you!

                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                            Love James Oseland and Cradle of Flavor, but somehow, perhaps unfairly, I think of it as an "Indonesian" book...I know there are a few Malaysian recipes in it, but still and all it seems to me to be a book (and author) with its feet planted firmly in Indonesia.

                                        2. re: qianning

                                          If you haven't already, I urge you to check out "Gran Cocina Latina" by Maricel Presilla for Latin American food. There's plenty of recipes from all over the continent (only the Spanish/Portuguese speaking countries), but I would say there's a hefty number from Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, even Bolivia....not to mention to oft-overlooked Central American countries, and to top it off, the author mostly excludes Mexico. It is a massive, beautiful book and I am absolutely loving it, and really hoping that it will have its day in the sun as a COTM.

                                          1. re: Allegra_K

                                            I really have got to look at that book....

                                            1. re: qianning

                                              Finally had a chance to really look at Gran Cocina Latina,in an old fashioned bookstore, and I must say I was instantly smitten. What do I know, but lots of citrus flavors, lots of layered flavors and lots of information. The ingredients didn't look (for the most part) obscure. I really hope it makes the cut some month. In the meantime I may have to get my hands on a copy to road test.....there was a Sopa recipe, not to mention a Peruvian braised duck, that are still in my mind.

                                              1. re: qianning

                                                Qianning, I am happy to pharaphrase recipes that interest you in GCL. I have not had a chance to read/cook from it yet and hope that it might get selected :)

                                                1. re: herby

                                                  I think we should start a paraphrase team! I'll always be happy to paraphrase a recipe for someone who doesn't have, or can't get access to, a book. For February, looks like I'll either have, or be willing to buy, any of the nominees.

                                          2. re: qianning

                                            qianning, you mentioned Terry Tan, and I just happened to be browsing the pre-orders on amazon(which I don't really recommend unless you want to add pages of new books to your wishlist)...came across this one:

                                            1. re: juliejulez

                                              Does anyone know if bistro cooking at home is out of print? Amazon no longer sells it directly, although you can get it used through amazon, and there are a few stores still selling copies through the amazon marketplace, but all but one of the new copies are over $150

                                              1. re: twyst

                                                Yes it is out of print. I plan on purchasing a used copy or seeing if my library has one, but I have a feeling it's a book I'd want to keep. Also, others have mentioned you can call the restaurant directly and order one from them.

                                                1. re: juliejulez

                                                  There are a couple copies on eBay.

                                                  1. re: Musie

                                                    I don't see Hamersley's book on eBay - however there is another one called "My French Vue: Bistro Cooking at Home" by Shannon Bennett.

                                            2. Due to travel (both my own and my husband's) I've been a pretty miserable COTM poster. He has been hiding his February calendar from me, so I can't be sure how much cooking I'll get to do then, but I'm going to hope for the best and throw my hat in the BISTRO COOKING AT HOME ring. i do think it lends itself well to cold weather cooking.

                                              1. Okay, here's my second nom for the month. It's probably too new, but there seem to be several new releases in the mix this time, so....
                                                GRAN COCINA LATINA, Maricel Presilla....probably my top pick for 2012. I just love it. As a plus, all the root veggies and starches sound perfect for the dreary endless cold that February often brings.


                                                1 Reply
                                                1. BISTRO COOKING AT HOME - long overdue

                                                  1. BISTRO COOKING AT HOME

                                                    1. BISTRO COOKING AT HOME

                                                      I'm still down with the Bs.

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                        go bistro cooking at home surge, go!!!

                                                        1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                          Heck yeah, I'm done with the BS too! Oh, wait ... never mind.

                                                          1. re: blue room

                                                            You crack me up blue room! Your stint as coordinator has been a rollicking good time.

                                                        2. Does anyone know why Bistro Cooking at Home isn't available on Amazon?

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                            It's available on Amazon, but through "other sellers." This probably means it's out of print. But there are used copies available. I wanted a new one, so I bought my copy by calling the restaurant and ordering it.

                                                            1. re: pagesinthesun


                                                              Alternatively, several CHs have ordered the book directly from the bistro for (I believe) $25. http://www.hamersleysbistro.com/home/

                                                              1. re: pagesinthesun

                                                                There are several copies available on www.abebooks.com
                                                                starting at 15.00 usd

                                                                1. re: Tom P

                                                                  Glad to see so many people are on board with Bistro Cooking. I have been looking at my old posts trying to find what I wrote about this book when it was first nominated so I could cut and paste it here. No luck! Here are a list of the recipes that people recommend trying first:

                                                                  Pear Cranberry Crumble -OMG "so good"
                                                                  Risotto with Butternut Squash and Maple Syrup
                                                                  Beef Short Ribs Braised in Dark Beer and Bacon and Red Onions
                                                                  Leek and Potato Gratin
                                                                  Avocado and Orange Salad
                                                                  Souffled Lemon Custard
                                                                  Roast Pork (2 recipes)
                                                                  Beef Borguinon
                                                                  Warm Apple Tart
                                                                  Wild Mushroom Risotto with Red Wine
                                                                  Seared Scallops
                                                                  Onion Soup au Gratin
                                                                  Peach Gallete
                                                                  Wild Mushroom Salad
                                                                  Lemon and Parsley Chicken/Roasted Chicken on p. 182 (this got several write ups)
                                                                  Lemon Lavender Sugar Cookies
                                                                  Curried Zucchini Risotto
                                                                  Orange and Ginger Glazed Roasted Swordfish
                                                                  Lemon Braised Endive
                                                                  Garlicy Cherry Tomato Confit

                                                                  I've made the Roasted Chicken recipe and it was amazing. As I said, I know I posted about it somewhere but I can't find it.

                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                    Wow, thanks so much for doing this dk. I'll paste it into Word and put it in my e-file for this book. Fabulous!

                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                      I quite like the sound of Bistro Cooking, but there are zero reasonably priced copies in the UK.

                                                                  2. Even though it is a newish book, my library system's got several copies, so I'd love to cook from something totally new and different, GRAN COCINA LATINA

                                                                        1. Today I made the Tortilla Soup from Mexican Everyday by Rick Bayless. I love this book and have made numerous recipes, all successful. I also happen to love Rick Bayless, his restaurants and his passion for Mexico. I think his books would make for a wonderful COTM and was really surprised to see only one of his books as a COTM, way back in 2006. Any other RB fans here? I'm still happy w my nomination for Feb but I'd love to have a month w Rick sometime.

                                                                          20 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                            I'd be happy to cook from Rick Bayless's books. I wasn't part of COTM when it was first chosen. I really like his tortilla soup recipe. How does it compare to the Homesick Texan version?

                                                                            1. re: BigSal

                                                                              Funny you should ask BigSal because as you may know, I wasn't a big fan of the Homesick Texan COTM however, her Tortilla Soup was the only dish that I truly did love. I'd read somewhere (CH maybe?) that she'd adapted RB's recipe. Of course I had this in mind today as I embarked upon his recipe. RB has a recipe for Tortilla Soup in a few of his books, all of which I own, so I pulled them off the shelf to see how they compared to one another and, to the recipe in The Homesick Texan.

                                                                              Having done this, I have no doubt Lisa Fain adapted Rick's recipe but, and here's the thing, I honestly believe her adaptations improved it! No kidding.

                                                                              LF adds some chipotle in adobe (a bit too much IMHO) but the notion is right. I like the smoky heat it adds.

                                                                              LF also adds some cumin, oregano and cloves all of which, combined, add a another layer of flavour to the dish.

                                                                              Finally, and I think this was the biggest "aha" for me today, LF adds 6 tbsp of lime juice to the soup whereas RB suggest you use lime wedges as garnish for serving. The lime juice is what really makes this soup for me. I love the tang it adds and without it I feel like the flavours of the soup are sleeping. The lime really wakes everything up so why not just add it on in so everyone can share in the love.

                                                                              I tasted it as RB intended it to be served but in the end, I decided to add some of LF's ingredients and the soup was much better for it!

                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                You've convinced me to pull the Homesick Texan off the shelf and try that recipe. :)

                                                                                1. re: BigSal

                                                                                  If you do, I'd love to hear what you think Big Sal. Here's a link to my report in the LF COTM thread:


                                                                            2. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                              I have his classic book, Authentic Mexican, and although I haven't delved into it too deeply, I have loved what I have made, and I turn to his book time and again for information on cooking methods. I would definitely have fun with one of his books as a COTM. From what I've read of the book that did make it in '06, it doesn't seem to be as wonderful a selection as some of his other works. How does Mexican Everyday fare?

                                                                              1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                I think the appeal w Mexican Everyday Allegra is that it has a lot of variety but, RB has made some adaptations of traditional recipes contained in his other books such that dishes are doable for weeknight meals. Mexican Everyday has quicker versions of classic recipes. The soup I made today is a good example. In other books RB has you cut tortillas into 1/4" stips and fry them to include in the soup and for garnish. In this book he has you use tortilla chips. He has you use canned tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted) vs roasting your own veggies. He also suggests you can used ground pasilla chili powder vs toasting your own dried chilis then breaking them up and adding them to your blender mix of ingredients.

                                                                                The thing I love about this book is that the recipes really do work and, they result in amazing, tasty dishes. The comment I've written again and again on various recipes in this book over the years is "amazing, and so easy" or "excellent and so quick"

                                                                                I think I've made all the rubs and now just looking at the recipe names is a drool-inducing experience. His Quick Cowboy Beans have just 3 words scribbled in the margin..."Fantastic...perfect really"

                                                                                I really love this book.

                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                  Wow, thanks for such a detailed reply, Breadcrumbs. It sounds really wonderful...I'm sold!

                                                                                2. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                  I knew I had one of his books but had to go look to check which it is. Turns out to be Authentic Mexican, which I seem to remember looking through and finding daunting (granted, this was before I started doing COTMs which have done wonders for my kitchen confidence). I could easily get behind one of the more simple books like Mexican Everyday.

                                                                                3. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                  I have Mexican Kitchen, One Plate at a Time, and Fiesta at Rick's. I cook often from the first two but have only made the Chocoflan from the Fiesta book. I'd love to cook from them for COTM! The stews and braises many crave at this time of year do not appeal to me at all, but zingy Mexican definitely does. Heading upthread to add to my vote now. Thanks for the idea!

                                                                                  1. re: pavlova

                                                                                    Of these three, I only have Mexican Kitchen. What are some of your favorites from this book? I have only made the carnitas recipe, which I actually was cooking out of another book and checked the recipe against Rick's. Would love to make better use of this book. I have a pretty extensive Mexican cookbook library, and Rick Bayless's is probably my least used.

                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                      Hmmm, where to begin? I've made most of the salsas and flavouring pastes in chapter 1; plus tortillas and guacamole
                                                                                      the simple enchiladas suizas on p. 39 a number of times
                                                                                      the seared cheese on p. 82
                                                                                      the caesar salad p. 97
                                                                                      garlic soup p. 120
                                                                                      tomatillo chicken, greens, fresh cheese tacos p. 146 (many times)
                                                                                      achiote roasted pork tacos p. 170
                                                                                      chile glazed sweet potatoes p. 226
                                                                                      drunken pintos with cilantro and bacon p. 239
                                                                                      achiote rice supper with carnitas p. 258
                                                                                      chicken in pueblan green pumpkin seed sauce p. 316
                                                                                      broiled chipotle chicken with creamy spinach p. 319 (love this--dinner tonight)
                                                                                      modern mexican chocolate flan p. 390 (many times)
                                                                                      cajeta p. 401 (can't remember if I use this recipe or from another RB book)

                                                                                      I do not have a large collection of Mexican cookbooks, but I do go back to my RB books often. I find the amount of salt he calls for exactly to my taste.

                                                                                      1. re: pavlova

                                                                                        Thank you Pavlova.

                                                                                        I will try to flag a couple of these recipes to make over the next two weeks. My kids love our mexican themed meals, but I tend to cook out of other sources. The tomatillo tacos and drunken beans sound especially tempting. Maybe I will start with these.

                                                                                        1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                          Just pulled my book to note your suggestions. The chipolte chicken sounds like a perfect weeknight meal, do you make it with the canned chipoltes or the chipolte salsa on page 52? I think this one will go on my shopping list for this week.

                                                                                          Also I wanted to note that I have made the Achiote roasted pork tacos with pickled red onions (p. 170) and they were easy, inexpensive, and very delicious.

                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                            I use canned chipotles for that. Enjoy!

                                                                                    2. re: pavlova

                                                                                      I also have Bayless One Plate at a Time and Fiesta at Rick's; have not cooked anything from either book. In addition, I have his Salsas that Cook and made a few successful meals out of it.

                                                                                      Since most of us have different books, maybe we could do RICK BAYLESS MONTH?

                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                        I have Mexican Kitchen. I don't use it too much because most of the recipes are a bit too involved for me. That said, I've made a few of the sauces in chapter one, always with good results. I usually use them to make chilaquiles. I've also used this book to make my own tortillas a few times. They were great but I haven't made my own tortillas since my son was born and not about to start now! Wonder how old my kids will have to be before I feel up to it again? I would support Mexican Everyday or a Bayless month, I've actually been quite curious about the Everyday book. There must be plenty of working moms in Mexico and beyond that don't spend hours making dinner, yet still produce tasty, authentic meals. I was hoping Mexican Everyday might help me achieve that.

                                                                                        1. re: herby

                                                                                          Since he has quite a few books out, I would suggest picking one or two, and then having an adjunct thread for all the others. Like what we did with Nigel Slater (Sept, 2011, IIRC).

                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                            I could get behind a Rick Bayless month in the future but I am still hoping for Bistro month this month.

                                                                                            1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                              Me too. I think Bayless would be better a bit later in the year, like maybe May for Cinco De Mayo!

                                                                                              1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                I love that idea ... but I have a feeling I'll be away for a chunk of May. Hmmmm.

                                                                                    3. Im still in a stew/braise winter mindset - southeast asian - which I love -just isnt appealing to me now. Please lets do Burma, Thai, etc when the weather gets warmer!

                                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: jen kalb

                                                                                        Funny, the one time of year when I don't cook much Asian food is summer.

                                                                                        1. re: qianning

                                                                                          Me too, sort of. It's not that I don't cook Asian in the summer, but perhaps not as much. In the summer, my cooking ends up being driven by whatever is in the garden or my CSA box. In the winter, when the garden is mostly bare, and the selection of local veggies is limited, I feel more justified in buying the kinds of imported, specialty produce that I might need for Asian cooking. So it seems like January and February often end up being big months for me to cook Asian food.

                                                                                          1. re: MelMM

                                                                                            Exactly my logic, summer produce here is mostly "yankee", but in the winter whatever I buy it is going to be from far away, so why not go with the Asian stuff. Plus a lot of "curries" are effectively braises, they may have been designed for a warm climate, but they are pretty comforting in the cold.

                                                                                      2. BISTRO COOKING AT HOME.

                                                                                          1. AUTHENTIC MEXICAN
                                                                                            MEXICAN EVERYDAY by Rick Bayless

                                                                                            Forgive me for muddying this up further, blue room...and thank you! I'm done now.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                              Not muddied at all, I see only clear light.

                                                                                              My sole Rick Bayless book is "Mexico One Plate at a Time" and I think it was also the first COTM I did. Learned to make real masa dough, that succulent moist & tender stuff that encloses tamales. With real lard, and chicken stock. Boy was I impressed with myself.

                                                                                              1. re: blue room

                                                                                                Wow, so you've been around since the beginning! I love reading all the old threads and seeing who's still participating--tho I must have bypassed your name on there. And tackling tamales is so impressive! It's such a labourious (albeit delicious) process.

                                                                                                It's been quite a while since a Mexican book made the cotm; maybe one day we can get back to it. There are so many books out there, though, and so few months in the year in which to tackle them! I'm still looking forward to getting a Thai month in, not to mention South American, Cambodian, Korean....and the list goes on.

                                                                                                Apparently I'm really drawn to the international cuisines.

                                                                                            2. BISTRO COOKING AT HOME

                                                                                              1. Okay. I’m going for

                                                                                                GRAN COCINA LATINA

                                                                                                I feel like we’ve done Bayless, even if it was a while ago. I have, and would be happy to cook from, Bistro Cooking at Home. Just being selfish. I leave for 10 weeks in Central America at the end of February, I’ll have access to some of the more unusual ingredients (loroco, anyone?), the book is too damn big to carry, there aren’t many recipes from the book on the Interwebs, and if it’s chosen I’ll know just which recipes to photocopy and bring with me. And I’ve been perusing it with photocopying in mind and am going to have to buy more Post-It-Notes. If not next month, soon. It looks to be a classic.

                                                                                                18 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                  I'd love to see Gran Cocina Latina become a COTM. I bought myself and my sister a copy for the holidays (thanks to TGC's sale) with the expectation that sooner or later, it would be selected. My sis has never participated in COTM so my thinking was to pick a good book to suck her in. Having said that, I think the book needs more time for people to acquire it, or else we may have a very poor turn out. Did we all buy it during the last TGC sale????

                                                                                                  1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                    I know I didn't, since TGC is only open to Americans :-P

                                                                                                    I'm first on the list for the copy that is listed as "on order" at my local library, so I would be happy for this book to come up in a couple of months rather than right away.

                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                      So is "Jerusalem" and we are having an amazing month with it!

                                                                                                      Just checked EYB and WOW! 477 people have Jerusalem and only 84 have Gran Cocina Latina. All 84 of us must've bought it during the last TGC sale :) I know I did - some time in November.

                                                                                                      1. re: herby

                                                                                                        Pardon my ignorance, but what is "TGC"?

                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                          The Good Cook book club. You join it and get your first 4 books for something like $1.00 a book, plus shipping. Then you have to buy a few books to meet your membership obligation (I think it is two more). The reason most people join is that they often have sales where you can buy 4 books for $10 each with free shipping. Over the holidays the sale dropped the price to $9.00 per book. A great way to build your collection or to get gifts for co-workers, teachers, etc. at a great price.


                                                                                                          1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                            I don't think I'm the target audience for TGC. I have a hard time finding the first 4 books and I keep wondering if there are more books for members that aren't showing because I just miss the excitement! :)

                                                                                                            1. re: eperdu

                                                                                                              Of course there are many more books avaibale for members; this is just to lure you in :)

                                                                                                              1. re: herby

                                                                                                                I may have to pull the trigger on the books I found .. sigh

                                                                                                                1. re: herby

                                                                                                                  I joined TGC about a year ago after hearing so much about the great sales and have been hugely disappointed. In fact, I don't think I've even managed to buy my final obligatory book. At least they haven't bugged me about it. In my experience, TGC either (1) doesn't have the book I want, (2) doesn't have the book I want on sale until after I've bought it elsewhere, (3) and has the book I want but at a higher price than Amazon or Abe "almost new." I also find that the bundle sales, where you can get 4 books for $40, lure me into buying books that vaguely interest me but that I wouldn't buy otherwise just to take advantage of the special pricing. Oh. And you'll hear from them just about every other day. If your in-box is lonely, TGC will take care of that for you. I'm with LLM and will quit as soon as I can.

                                                                                                                  1. re: JoanN

                                                                                                                    That's my fear too. I don't really buy a lot of cookbooks anyway so I'll probably just buy them as one-off's when I find them. The first four for $1 is so appealing but then you pay $15 in shipping and the others are half off publisher price (which I never pay anyway) so it's probably not that much of a savings overall. *shrug*

                                                                                                                    Now to go find copies of the books I did want ...

                                                                                                                    1. re: eperdu

                                                                                                                      The reason I joined is because I noticed that a fair amount of COTM titles are former TGC books. They may not have been books I would have ordinarily bought, but I did appreciate having them when they became COTM.

                                                                                                                      1. re: eperdu

                                                                                                                        I'm not a huge cookbook purchaser either, so while the concept is appealing, I don't think it'll work out for me. Plus, they didn't have the #1 book I've been wanting to buy... Susan Feniger's Street Food.

                                                                                                                        1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                          I had a hard time finding books I wanted in the intro. But the books do change, so I bought in when there was a good list, and even bought extra so I only had a one book commitment. So averaged out, the book prices were great. Since then, it hasn't held much interest for me.

                                                                                                                          BTW, I would love to do a street food COTM!

                                                                                                                          1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                            I am pretty sure that I saw Street Food on TGC site. Maybe not available for intro deal?

                                                                                                                            1. re: herby

                                                                                                                              Yes, but as a "Book Search Plus," meaning the price isn't anything special, it doesn't count toward your commitment purchases, and it's never on sale. That was exactly my problem. All the books I wanted were Book Search Plus. Don't need TGC for that.

                                                                                                                    2. re: eperdu

                                                                                                                      I had the same experience with TGC, eperdu. I thought the books they offered newbies, or on sale, were often not things that I was excited about. I quit as soon as I could.

                                                                                                                    3. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                      Ugh I wish I didn't ask. Amazon is bad enough :) Thanks, I'm going to go check it out.

                                                                                                                      1. re: juliejulez

                                                                                                                        TGC is only 'bad' when the sale is on :)

                                                                                                            2. I'm in somewhat of a quandry this month.

                                                                                                              I am attracted to Bistro Cooking at Home, but it's out of print and a used copy here costs £40 which I'm not prepared to pay for a book I haven't seen.

                                                                                                              Gran Cocina Latina sounds interesting, but I am a bit scared of Latin American food which is only just beginning to make an impact in the UK! I actively avoid the Colombian cafés,of which there are several locally, because I find the food very heavy and stodgy. Plus some ingredients are hard to find in the UK.

                                                                                                              So that leaves me with BURMA, which I also haven't seen a copy of. I can't find any recipes online. But for some reason I'm most excited about this book so I'll nominate it for what it's worth.

                                                                                                              Something tells me I might be sitting February out!

                                                                                                              10 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: Berheenia

                                                                                                                  Hi Berheenia... Thanks for the link... but... only the first 4 recipes are from BCH. Although in the list there's a nice sounding Fuji Apple Tarte Tatin from another bistro I think I'll be making.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                    greedygirl, Gio, and others -
                                                                                                                    Here are three more:
                                                                                                                    And another three:

                                                                                                                    There may be more to be found here and there on the web. And there are often people willing to paraphrase a recipe when you are interested. But I get that it's a drag when you can't actually cook from the book, so I'm not trying to sway anyone.

                                                                                                                    1. re: L.Nightshade

                                                                                                                      Actually, LN, I Do have the book. In fact I've been nominating it for a while now.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                        Sorry, I should have remembered that. I guess my post really only applies here to greedygirl.

                                                                                                                2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                  Here's some from Burma, for you and others without the book. I'm pretty sure there are more recipes out there, just need to dig them up. I know it's not the same as having a hard copy, but it's a start! Hope you don't have to give next month a pass.
                                                                                                                  Coconut Sauce Noodles:

                                                                                                                  Mandalay Grated Carrot Salad:

                                                                                                                  Tender greens salad w/ crispy fried shallots

                                                                                                                  Smoky Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

                                                                                                                  Silky Burmese-Style Eggplant (not entirely sure if this one is the the book)

                                                                                                                  fried sesame seed bananas

                                                                                                                  chinese kale slad w/pork cracklings

                                                                                                                  punchy-crunchy ginger salad

                                                                                                                  kachin salsa, lemongrass & ginger sliders, succuent pomelo salad + pantry basics

                                                                                                                  kachin pounded beef with herbs

                                                                                                                  intensely green spinach & tomato salad w/peanuts

                                                                                                                  spice-rubbed jerky

                                                                                                                  chickpea soup w/lemongrass & ginger

                                                                                                                  long bean salad w/roasted peanuts

                                                                                                                  golden egg curry

                                                                                                                  river fish celebration

                                                                                                                  banana flower salad, rakhine style

                                                                                                                  Silky Shan Soup, Tart-Sweet Chile-Garlic Sauce, Kachin Chicken Curry:

                                                                                                                  Simmered Cabbage, Shan-Style:

                                                                                                                  It appears that I may be getting ahead of myself here, but alas. Even if it doesn't make it as a cotm at least you've got a sneak peek.

                                                                                                                  1. re: Allegra_K

                                                                                                                    Thank you Allegra! Such a thoughtful gesture. I copied and pasted your list with links into a word document for future reference since I'll never remember where it was posted.

                                                                                                                  2. re: greedygirl

                                                                                                                    It seems that we Chowhounds have saturated the market. When I ordered my copy of Bistro Cooking at Home (used) it was $7.99, including shipping. I think the price we are now seeing for used copies reflects the fact that many other CHs picked up copies when the book came up in other nomination threads.

                                                                                                                    I still think the book is a worth the money at face value, especially when that is for a signed copy coming from the restaurant. But for those of you across the pond, I could see not wanting to pay more than that.

                                                                                                                    GG, if Bistro makes it this time I would be happy to email you copies of any of the recipes you'd like. I know it is not the same as having the book in hand but it will enable you to participate.

                                                                                                                    Hope that helps and hope it wins!

                                                                                                                    1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                      I agree, last week I saw a few copies for under $20. This week the cheapest was $30 plus 3.99 shipping. I ordered it anyway as the index on EYB showed me that it will be a book I will use often, COTM or not.

                                                                                                                      1. re: dkennedy

                                                                                                                        Thanks everyone for both the links and the kind offers. Once again, Chowhounders never cease to amaze with their thoughtfulness.

                                                                                                                    2. Everyone please note ~
                                                                                                                      today is Tuesday, January 15, so nominations will close tonight at 9 p.m. EDT, a little more than twelve hours away as I write this.
                                                                                                                      To be counted, put your choice(s) in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.

                                                                                                                      1. This nomination thread is now closed.

                                                                                                                        Back in a few with your voting thread!

                                                                                                                        OK, please vote here for February COTM:


                                                                                                                        1. Question: I am new and trying to get involved with the COTM. I just wondered if I can get on a list or something to be notified when you are recommending books for the next month and also when the voting thread is available to vote. I know, I am such a novice but find I would better with emails than logging in everyday.

                                                                                                                          P.S. Making my first recipe from "Jerusalem" tonight. The books looks amazing!

                                                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: DebHo

                                                                                                                            Hi DebHo and Welcome!

                                                                                                                            There's no list for alerts such as you request but around the tenth of each month we simply begin to look for an announcement thread for Nominations for COTM for the next month. The coordinator for the month makes the announcement on the Home Cooking board. (the board is now called the Home Category, though I can't quite accept that.)

                                                                                                                            Glad you're joining us in cooking through "Jerusalem". So far it's been a very positive month for this book.

                                                                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                                                                              Thanks Gio. I am marking my calendar although I do like the nominations for February. (Just bummed they are not at a library near me.)

                                                                                                                              1. re: DebHo

                                                                                                                                Just ask for someone to paraphrase a recipe for you when you see one you like...from whichever book wins. Many from each are on-line, though.

                                                                                                                            2. re: DebHo

                                                                                                                              Debho, I'm glad you've posted and Gio found you. Again, welcome!
                                                                                                                              You can look here for general information and ALL the previous books and comments (a treasure.)

                                                                                                                              You can look here for links each month to that month's specific stuff.

                                                                                                                              And please do post about your experience with the recipe from "Jerusalem".

                                                                                                                            3. Just thought I'd post here in case folks missed it but, the nominations for March are now over. The voting thread is up. If you wish to vote, you can find the voting thread here:


                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                Thanks BC - I completely missed the chance to join the nomination thread so I am happy that you posted here for the voting.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                                                                                                                  Breadcrumbs, these are February nominations --
                                                                                                                                  is your post here because .. well I'm confused!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: blue room

                                                                                                                                    I posted here because a lot of folks posted to this thread in Jan. that didnt nominate in Feb. I wanted to alert them to the voting so they didnt miss out.